All posts tagged: Luigi

The Codex Seraphinianus: How Italian Artist Luigi Serafini Came to Write & Illustrate “the Strangest Book Ever Published” (1981)

The Codex Seraphinianus: How Italian Artist Luigi Serafini Came to Write & Illustrate “the Strangest Book Ever Published” (1981)

The Codex Seraphini­anus is not a medieval book; nor does it date from the Renais­sance along with the codices of Leonar­do. In fact, it was pub­lished only in 1981, but in the inter­ven­ing decades it has gained recog­ni­tion as “the strangest book ever pub­lished,” as we described it when we pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured it here on Open Cul­ture a few years ago. Since then, Riz­zoli has pub­lished a for­ti­eth-anniver­sary edi­tion of the Codex, which author-artist Lui­gi Ser­afi­ni has grant­ed inter­views to pro­mote. What new light has thus been shed on its more than 400 pages filled with bizarre illus­tra­tions and inde­ci­pher­able text? “The book is designed to be com­plete­ly alien to any­body who picks it up,” says the nar­ra­tor of the Curi­ous Archive video at the top of the post. “Not only are the images utter­ly mind-bend­ing, it’s writ­ten in a made-up and thor­ough­ly untrans­lat­able lan­guage. And yet, the more you read, the more you might find a strange sense of con­ti­nu­ity among the images. That’s because Ser­afi­ni intend­ed this book to be an ency­clo­pe­dia: an …